What Are The Worst Garden Pests?

You have just finished planting your vegetables and are ready to harvest them. But you have noticed that the plants have begun to get attacked by various kinds of pests. 

If you are worried about the health of your crop, you may want to know what the worst garden pests to watch out for are. It’s also good to know the difference between the pests and the good bugs that can help chase away the pests. 

Tomato Hornworms

Tomato hornworms are a pest that can ruin your garden. They attack the leaves and stems of tomato plants and fruits. 

There are several methods for controlling their population. The first is to kill the larvae. Another method is to use beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, to destroy the eggs. This is a natural form of control.

Hornworms also fall prey to parasitic wasps. These wasps live in the cocoons of the hornworms. During the larval stage, the parasitic wasps eat the hornworms. After they pupate, they emerge as adult wasps.

Using an organic biological pesticide can be a safe and effective way to control hornworms. 

Another way to prevent hornworms is to create a high tunnel for your tomatoes. You can do this by placing thick cardboard around the plant. Floating row covers are also an option. Alternatively, you can plow your garden in the spring to destroy the hornworms.

Squash Bugs

Squash bugs are commonly seen on cucumbers, pumpkins, and straightneck squash. They can attack other plants, too. Some varieties are more resistant to these bugs.

These bugs are very difficult to get rid of. Several methods are available, including insecticides that have less toxic effects on the environment. There are also some natural methods. One option is to use diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth is made from hard shelled organisms that are ground into a fine powder. Spread the powder directly on the squash bug. In this way, the bug will die. The same method can be used for other types of bugs.

Another method is to apply soap and oil to the nymphs. This works well for the smallest nymphs. If you don’t have enough time to do this, you can use a credit card or a lint brush.

Besides being a pest, squash bugs can cause significant damage to young plants. They suck sap from the leaves, preventing nutrients from flowing to the fruits.

Squash Vine Borers

If you have ever grown gourds, melons or pumpkins, you know about squash vine borers

These garden pests can cause serious damage to your crops. Luckily, there are many simple and effective methods you can use to get rid of them.

You should try to trap the moths. You can do this by planting a trap crop like acorn squash. Another option is to plant a beneficial insect. In some areas, parasitic wasps are a natural predator of squash vine borers.

Another method is to kill the larvae. The larvae are small and burrow into the stems of your plants. They feed for four to six weeks before pupating.

Alternatively, you can inject liquid Bt into the stems of your plants. This is a biological control that is safe for humans and pets. It is also a good choice for organic gardening.

Prevent the borers from spreading by wrapping the stems of your plants. This can be done by using aluminum foil or nylon strips. However, keep in mind that this method does not work if the squash vine borer has already established a home in your plants.


Cutworms are larvae of moths and are a common pest to home gardeners. While not a serious problem, cutworms can damage your plants by eating the stems, roots, or leaves of your garden. There are many ways to protect your plants from this invasive insect.

Identify the type of cutworm you have. This will help you decide what you should do to prevent infestations.

The best way to keep cutworms away is to plan ahead. By planning your garden, you will be able to interrupt the cutworm life cycle.

You can also use beneficial nematodes to control cutworms. These worms are small, but can be very effective. Nematodes are generally found in sandy soil, so you should not use them in heavy clay.

In addition to nematodes, you can also rely on birds, toads, and other insects to help keep cutworms under control. Aside from using natural means of controlling cutworms, you can consider pesticides to treat severe infestations.

The most important thing you can do to prevent an infestation is to make sure you don’t let your transplants get nipped. Mowing close to your garden’s edge can reduce your cutworm food source.

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles are a common pest that attacks many vegetables in the garden. They are tiny insects that range in size from 1/8 to 1/3 of an inch in size.

Flea beetles usually cause little damage to crops. However, they are difficult to control. Using a flea control spray is a good way to get rid of them. You should reapply after rainfall and after heavy watering.

One way to prevent an infestation is to rotate crops. This will help move the flea beetle food source away from your plants. Another way to keep flea beetles at bay is to plant companion plants. These are plants that grow along the side of your other crops.

If you are unable to control the flea beetles on your own, you can use a pyrethrins spray. These are effective against both adults and larvae. In order to save your plants, you can apply the spray around the base of each plant.

The best time to protect your garden is in the spring. When the weather warms up, adult flea beetles start to emerge from the soil. Keeping your plants well mulched can also prevent an infestation.

You can also attract natural predators to your yard. Some beneficial animals like frogs and toads will help take care of your bad guys.

Final Takeaways

It can be overwhelming to think about all the different pests that can threaten your garden, especially if you’re new to gardening. If you focus on the pests mentioned in this article, you should be able to avoid the worst and most common garden pests. 


Most of them can be warded off with simple household ingredients, so if you do discover some of these insects in your garden you can easily start the process of getting rid of them. Over and above that, there are also some good insects and animals that can help you chase the malignant pests away.